Community hoping Mandeville Seafood Festival will be saved

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 6:41 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MANDEVILLE, La. -- Fingers are crossed as lovers of a long-time festival, set to close, are hoping someone saves it.

The Mandeville Seafood Association, which hosts the Mandeville Seafood Festival every year around the 4th of July holiday, announced Tuesday that the event would not be held again due to failing finances.

A board member told Eyewitness News Wednesday that the fair started on a downturn in 2009.

"One year we had a tornado; wiped out the whole stage. One year we had the BP Oil Spill. Nobody wanted to eat seafood. Nobody came and it just was real hard to regroup," said Ricky Windhorst.

Two more years of lackluster finances and no profits to turn over to local charities finally did them in for 2013 and the future.

"When you don't have any money and you're losing money and the president has to come out of pocket for expenses and stuff,” said Windhorst, “I guess people just can't do that forever."

Families that have come here to Fontainebleau State Park in recent years for the festival say it's sad that no more memories will be made.

"I would love to share this with my kids and my kids' kids, our grandchildren," said Angela Owen, who met her husband at the festival. "This should stay a part of Mandeville. That's what makes the town special."

Owen and her family are among many hoping someone will step up to revive the event, which would have had its 35th anniversary this year.

The festival’s executive board will stay in-tact while it’s oil spill claim with BP is pending. If any money comes out of that case, once the festival’s finances are settled, remaining dollars will go to area charities.

 

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